I dare you to say it

Merry Christmas. There, I said it.

Every year, there is debate about whether or not people can say “Merry Christmas” instead of the more politically correct (PC) “Happy Holidays.” I guess it is supposed to be some kind of slam for people who don’t celebrate Christmas, but I really don’t understand why.

Personally, I wouldn’t be offended if someone wished me happy Hanukkah, Soyaluna, Las Posadas or Kwanzaa. Being upset by someone’s wish for your happiness makes about as much sense as getting mad when someone tells you to have a nice day.

I’m getting rather fed up with some of the PC motions we’re supposed to go through. I think worrying that every syllable you utter will offend someone stops effective communication. I’m not saying we should all go around screaming and insulting each other, but how can anyone speak from the heart if they are too busy screening words in their head?

Wishing someone a merry Christmas shouldn’t be a huge controversy.

Not everyone considers Christmas a huge religious holiday, so not everyone who wishes you a merry Christmas is asking you to think about babies in mangers, wise men and heavenly angels. “I wish you a merry Christmas” can simply mean, “Hey, have a nice time hanging out with family, friends, or whatever. I hope you get some nice presents. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, have a nice day off.”

Each year on Sept. 19, I tell people “Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day.” If they have no idea what I’m talking about, I explain the holiday, which is as simple as it sounds. You say “Ahoy there” instead of “Hello” and that kind of thing. It’s fun. People either like the idea and let out a “Yarr!” or they give me a funny look and edge away slowly. Either way, I’m not out trying to convert people into pirates, I’m just observing the day and the sentiment that goes with it.

Yes, a day dedicated to talking like a pirate is simply a holiday a couple of guys made up, but from I’ve read about Kwanzaa, it was a holiday some guy made up back in the 1960s. These two observances were not created for the same reasons, but they still exist. Everything has to start somewhere. Even Christmas, which evolved hundreds of years after the birth and death of Jesus Christ, who apparently wasn’t even born in December.

Why is “Merry Christmas” such a big deal, but no one flips out over saying “Happy Valentine’s Day” to a confirmed bachelor? Or “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” to someone who isn’t Irish? (Actually, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish either, but that’s a whole different story.)

Maybe if people quit looking so hard to find hidden messages in simple statements and just accepted things at face value, there wouldn’t be a need for all the PC and we could just talk to each other. I think a lot of problems could be solved by talking to each other.

So with defiance I will yell from the rooftops (well, no, the rooftops are all slippery, but you get the picture) to everyone…

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